Naval Aviation History: June

June 1 – June 7

1915 – First contract for lighter-than-air craft for Navy.

1934 – USS Ranger, first ship designed from the keel up as a carrier, is commissioned at Norfolk, VA.

1941 – First escort carrier, USS Long Island (CVE-1), commissioned.

1942 – Battle of Midway ends with loss of USS Yorktown
Japanese carriers which attacked Pearl Harbor are sunk; this decisive U.S. victory is a turning point in the Pacific war.

1944 – ZP-14 Airships complete first crossing of Atlantic by non-rigid lighter-than-air aircraft.

1944 – Hunter-killer group USS Guadalcanal captures German submarine, U-505.

1954 – First test of steam catapult from USS Hancock.

1966 – Launch of Gemini 9, piloted by LCDR Eugene A. Cernan, USN. The mission included 45 orbits over 3 days. Recovery was by USS Wasp (CVS-18).

June 8 – June 15

1927 – USS Memphis arrives at Washington, DC, with Charles Lindbergh and his plane, Spirit of St. Louis, after his non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

1944 – Four U.S. Carrier Groups (15 carriers) begin attack on Japanese positions in the Marianas.

1960 – Helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS-10) rescue 54 crewmen of British SS Shunlee, grounded on Pratus Reef in South China Sea.

1990 – CDR Rosemary Mariner becomes first Navy women to command fleet jet aircraft squadron.

June 16 – June 23

1913 – First fatal accident in Naval Aviation, ENS W. D. Billingsley killed at Annapolis, MD.

1944 – Battle of Philippine Sea ends with Japanese losing 2 aircraft carriers and hundreds of aircraft.

1945 – Okinawa declared secure after most costly naval campaign in history. U.S. had 30 ships sunk and 223 damaged, mostly from kamikaze attacks, with 5000 dead and 5000 wounded, while the Japanese lost 100,000 dead.

1972 – Navy helicopter squadron aids flood-stricken residents in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Pittstown area of PA.

June 24 – June 30

1926 – Office of Assistant SecNav set up to foster naval aeronautics; aircraft building increased.

1950 – North Korea invades South Korea beginning Korean Conflict.

1950 – To support U.N. call to assist South Korea, Truman authorizes U.S. naval and air operations south of 38th Parallel, Korea.

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